If you have not heard me say this before, hear it now, I HATE the term meat shield. However, because it is something that players talk about… A LOT… it is something that we want to take some time to address. Often players want to know about meat shields and what tier of troops they should train. Today, we are going to take an in-depth look at troops, how they work, and the history around this, we will discuss Meat Shields (ugh) and we will discuss nerf and how they are relevant or not relevant today in the Mech Dimension.
A Quick History Lesson with Cin on Nerf
Nerf is not only the gun you use to shoot your friends with foam bullets. In this setting, when we talk about Nerf we have to go back to the old school Mobile Strike days before things such as Cybernetics existed. Early on in Mobile Strike, trap accounts flourished training large quantities (meat shields) of low-tier troops in order to be able to defend from a solo or rally.
This became so prevalent that a concept called Nerf was introduced and announced in the blog. Essentially what Nerf did was weakened accounts using massive quantities of lower-tier troops. Eventually, a ratio was figured out along with some calculations and this is where you will still hear players talking about Troop Ratios today.
For years we saw traps running Tier 2 / Tier 4 ratios and we occasionally saw a fun miscalculation that led to said player basically exploding from being hit with just one troop. For those of you loving the history lesson, one trooping players originally was a way of greeting a friend until one day one troop resulted in a burn of epic proportions. This caused the one troop greeting to increase in popularity when it was discovered that a nerfed player would explode like a ticking time bomb. This is where the terminology Nerf Check came into play.
When Cybernetic was released nerf did not technically factor into the game anymore. However, players who trained any pre-Cyber troops quickly learned that their troops were nerfed in the sense that one Cyber troop could kill all of their troops.
Is Nerf Relevant Today in the Mech Dimension?
While it is good to know the history of Nerf, is it relevant to us today in the Mech Dimension? The Mech Dimension came into play and we saw things continue to evolve. Early on many players questioned whether or not Nerf would be present in the Mech Dimension. We quickly learned that it was not and there were two main reasons we were able to go into this dimension without lower-tiered troops being nerfed.
- Troop Caps- With your troop’s capacity being capped the ability to train the number of low-tier troops needed was just not present.
- A fundamental change in how troops work- We will get into this more as we explore “Meat Shields”.
Moving Forward to Meat Shields
As you saw in our Nerf History, Meat Shields (again, ugh) have been around since the beginning of the game. It is why people still ask about meat shields and what they should build.
Essentially a Meat shield is a lower-tier troop that is built to protect your higher tier troops by absorbing the hit. These troops will die off first and if all of them die you will see your higher tier troops begin to die and go to your hospital.
In order to understand this terminology today and how troops work in the Mech Dimension, we want to take a closer look at the tiers, their strength, and how they work.
We wanted to look at troops and their functionality. First, we took a look at tiers one to six. We wanted to remove external factors so we created encampments and used only troops, no Mechs, or Commanders. Each of our encampments contained Regular Infantry Troops. They all had the same troop count and were hit with the same number of Regular T6 Infantry Troops each time. All factors except the tier of troops in the encampment remained the same.
|Tier One||Tier Two||Tier Three||Tier Four||Tier Five||Tier Six|
In the table above you can see how many troops were killed by the encampment and how many troops the encampment lost with each hit. We can see some important information from this data, I know all of you are smart but let’s really dive in and talk about how this impacts gameplay.
We cannot look at this without considering Troop Count. We can clearly see that the higher-tiered troops were able to kill off more troops than our lower-tiered encampments. This is why high tier troop accounts are able to run lower numbers of troops. Players using low tiered troops need to run higher troop counts in order to be able to effectively kill off their attacker’s Deployment. If you are looking to run low power this comes into play. While higher-tiered troops come with more power you do not have to compensate for troop strength by building more to do the same damage when it comes to kills.
The next thing we can see is that as we moved up troop tiers our troops improved defensively. This means that for accounts that are running lower-tiered troops you are ultimately going to lose more troops by running lower tiers. This brings us back to the old school days, of well, I’ll just build more, we will discuss soon though about whether or not that is a viable option.
Above are the two main components we want to take from these tests. When running lower-tiered troops you are ultimately going to lose more troops and kill fewer troops. The benefit to running lower troops then becomes cost but it is necessary to consider whether or not the cost is just as prohibitive when you consider the fact that it will be necessary to build more than you would build of a higher tier troop.
Let’s Talk about Meat shields some more
So we have presented the factor that higher-tiered troops are ultimately going to perform better at lower numbers. However, some players might still think, well, I am not doing well and I am losing too many troops so I am going to build more troops to help.
This concept is wrong!!! Meat shields early on worked well. However, while our troop’s defensive properties improve when we go up tiers we do not see our troops work defensively when we add more. If we look at increasing troop count what we are really looking at is increasing attack.
I wanted to let you all see this, so once again we ran some tests. All the factors for our troop science above remained the same. However, we had two Tier six encampments. We have not talked about the second encampment yet. So for our first Tier six hit we saw this:
Ultimately the question comes to can I compensate for stats by increasing my troop count? The answer is yes for attack and no for defense. Our first encampment had 2.8 million troops. Our second encampment had 4.2 million troops. Check out the results from increasing the size of our encampment.
|Tier Six Encampment One||Tier Six Encampment Two|
The only thing that changed from one report to the next is that we killed off more of our attacker’s Deployment. However, the exact same number of troops was lost by our defender. Now, this is on a smaller scale however, what this tells us is that adding more troops is not going to help defensively even though it will help with attack. In this instance, if we had continued adding more troops to our encampment we would have seen the ability to kill off more and more of the Deployment that was hitting, however, if the losses changed it would be minimal.
The Importance of Stats in Meat Shields
Stats have become more and more important. While we can compensate for defense by using higher tiers of troops we cannot compensate for defense by adding more troops. Adding troops acts as a factor in Attack. Players who want to use lower-tiered troops to absorb hits will ultimately need to train more troops to have the same attack as our higher-tier troops and compensate for defense by having higher stats.
Does this mean I should not use Lower Tier Troops?
Ultimately the answer to that question is that it is up to you. If you are able to boost your stats high enough that lower-tier troops are an option they can at times be a very effective tool in trapping. Because most players assume lower tiers ultimately mean you are weaker you may be more likely to get hit when players scout and see that lower tier.
In addition, we see many burner traps using lower-tier troops for the points advantage in kill events. When using lower-tier troops it is important to have a good knowledge of how that will impact you, which means if you do not want to walk into a kill event and get blown up then, test, test, test. Ultimately though if you are simply looking for the strongest build you will want to build the highest tier troops and drop that Meat Shield concept.
We have even more great content for you! Be sure to check out some of our older articles talking about how to build your stats and get in some of that more in-depth reading.
Training Troops Efficiently in the Mech Dimension
You have the details! Are you ready to train up your army? Check out this article for tips and tricks for efficiently training troops.
Stay Tuned for more great information from our MSHQ Team as the Mech Dimension continues to evolve.
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